Wyoming Opinion Differs on Leaked BLM Talking Points and Expanding Energy Development

by as published on The Casper Star Tribune

“Let me make one thing clear: The Interior Department is in the energy business,”

English: Bureau of Land Management logo

English: Bureau of Land Management logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A leaked draft of a new priority list from the Bureau of Land Management recently put energy development front and center among the agency’s initiatives.

In Wyoming, where the BLM manages 17.5 million acres of public land, any changes in how the agency permits and leases land for drilling oil and gas, or digging coal, sparks debate between those seeking to do business and those who want to reserve more land for public use and conservation.

The five-point draft from the BLM lists a number of priorities for the agency, like promoting energy independence for the U.S. and developing habitat improvement projects. The majority of the bullet points concern fossil fuel development. They include streamlining the drilling application process, opening new lands for drilling and addressing a “backlog” of industry requests. E&E News obtained a copy of the document and reported on its contents April 10.

 A spokeswoman for BLM said the list reflects the multi-use responsibility of the BLM but emphasized that it is not a final draft.

“While these documents are still in draft form, these talking points are being assembled by the team at the BLM to clearly lay out our continued commitment to ensure opportunities for commercial, recreation and conservation activities on BLM-managed lands,” said spokeswoman Megan Crandall in a statement. “Our multiple-use and sustained yield mission for managing public lands on behalf of all Americans supports an all-of-the-above energy plan, shared conservation through tribal, state and local partnerships, public access for recreation and other activities and keeping America’s working public landscapes healthy and productive.”

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story.

http://trib.com/business/energy/wyoming-opinion-differs-on-leaked-blm-talking-points-and-expanding/article_5105a15d-51f8-5e1b-8751-8624c707cc55.html

Feel Good ‘Easter’ Sunday: THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS LOVES SMART ASSES!

by Marjorie Farabee – Director of Wild Burro Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Equine Manger at TMR Rescue, Inc.

The University of Texas School of Law, has the distinction of being one a handful of colleges that added animal law to their curriculum before 2008. Yale, Harvard, Lewis & Clark, and University of Texas School of Law, were the trailblazers. Now, there are over one hundred sixty-five in the USA who teach animal law. These students will soon be attorneys who can make a difference in the quality of life of animals. In two weeks they will be taking their exams, so their instructor, Dawn Reveley asked if I could bring Benny and do a presentation to her class about the issues facing donkeys around the world. Of course, we were thrilled to bring our ambASSador to school. As it turns out, the students have been following Benny since his first days of struggle at TAMU Large Animal hospital. How cool! They knew his story and were truly excited to see him. (http://www.tmrrescue.com/benny-meets-a-miracle) Originally, he was just going to join me for my presentation to her class, but the word got out to the rest of the school and there was no getting around offering the other students time with Benny. So, they set up a time in the atrium and set up a table for our use. We laid out our materials for the rescue and watched as stacks of brochures disappeared. I was truly amazed at these young people and the obvious compassion they shared for animals. They were all smiling, relaxed and engaged. Benny was asked to be in selfies every few minutes and we were happy to oblige. If looking at that photo makes them relax as the pressure builds, Benny did his job. As I looked out at these fresh, young faces and spoke to the Animal Law class, my faith for a positive future with animals in it, was restored. They are the best and brightest preparing to step into a world where animals are in real jeopardy of harm from cruelty, and environmental hazards. These are the fresh young minds that will seek answers to improve the futures for all of us. As true believers in diversity, we all know that a world without animals is a world that will see a complete environmental collapse. My hope was increased one hundred fold yesterday in Austin TX. Thank you, University of Texas School of Law. for having us. I am excited that Benny has been asked to come again next year! His behavior was amazing and the smiles he brought were contagious. This was a day these students and all of us at Texas Miracle Ranch will not forget. (www.tmrrescue.com)

Dawn Reveley In House Counsel for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Benny, and Marjorie Farabee

The Easter Bunny’s “Horse Cousin”

Sourced from Women of Age Riding Horses

They look like BIG bunnies but we can attest that they are pure genus equus – meet the Poitou donkey.

Poitou donkeys originated in southern France, developed from donkeys imported from ancient Rome. They are the largest donkey breed historically used as breeding stock to produce working mules. Their coats are dark brown and black, they have white underbelly, nose and rings around their eyes. They have large features – heads, leg joints and ears. Some ears are so large that their weight causes they to flop sideways. The Poitou’s most distinctive feature is their matted coat, hanging cords of soft hair called a “cadanette”…(MORE)

http://womenofageridinghorses.com/2017/04/the-easter-bunnys-horse-cousin/

Equestrian EGG-cellence!

Please Visit Women of Age Riding Horses

Easter is upon us and while most of us associated bunnies with the secular aspect of this holiday, horses have an oddly frequent presence on decorative eggs. Let’s take a look!

Click (HERE) for the slideshow

http://womenofageridinghorses.com/2017/04/equestrian-egg-cellence/

The Bureau of Land Management is scrubbing their trail on the internet

After NBC News wrote about the Bureau of Land Management featuring a photo of a coal bed at the top of their website, the BLM changed it… to now feature this photo of an oil & gas pipeline.

by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation                                                                    All Rights Reserved.          Copyright 2017

The Bureau of Land Management is scrubbing most of its links off of the internet, and in doing so, erasing much of its history from public view.

Many of the blm.gov links that are still remaining on the internet at this point say “page not found,” or the links are no longer cached.

The BLM also suddenly removed state and district websites.  Instead, you will now find “landing pages” that direct you to only one main Bureau of Land Management website.  (You can look at the new BLM website HERE.)

I called a BLM Public Affairs Specialist to ask some questions about the defunct websites and links.  This person said in the past there were about 90,000 pages (and then a bit later stated that it could possibly be only about 60,000 pages) of BLM content on the internet, but that all of these pages couldn’t be maintained or updated, and weren’t centralized.  This person said the BLM’s prior content management system was outdated.

Most importantly, this person also said there were now standards to reduce the amount (of pages/content).

Who made the decision to even have a standard to reduce content available to the public on the internet?  During this website transition, who is making the decisions, and on what basis, of what data to migrate, or not to migrate, to the new BLM website?  These decisions cherry pick what information will be available to the public in the future.

Make no mistake, this “reducing the amount” of content on the internet is erasing many of this agency’s past actions, activities, and government documentation.  Many of these links had historical value.  For example, the BLM activities of BLM employees Sally Spencer and Lili Thomas over the years are now gone.  These types of links on the internet didn’t need to be “maintained” or “updated.”  They were historical in nature.

In the past, in doing a google search for Sally Spencer (a longtime BLM employee, and the Marketing Specialist famous for selling so many wild horses and burros to kill buyer Tom Davis), she was included on many, many BLM government links.  I went to the BLM’s new website and searched “Sally Spencer,” and only 3 items appeared.  When I searched “Lili Thomas” (another longtime BLM Wild Horse & Burro Program employee who oversaw the BLM’s Long Term Holding facilities for wild horses for many years), only 4 items appeared.  And when I searched “John Neill” (a longtime Palomino Valley Center manager), all that came up was “No results found.”

These individuals are BLM personnel who have been central in management issues in the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program, as evidenced by FOIA documentation garnered by the late Dr. Patricia Haight of The Conquistador Program.

Even when I searched the new BLM website for “Dean Bolstad” (the Division Chief of the Wild Horse & Burro Program) only 2 items appeared.

(Although, luckily, thanks to In Defense of Animals, you can still go online and see this youtube video of Lili Thomas saying “working with wild horses is not a pretty sight” at a public meeting.)

What I can’t understand is, if the new content management system is bigger and better, why couldn’t the new content management system have contained all of the old data along with new data?  If this agency were truly transparent, they would add data, not reduce data, available to the public on the internet.

At first the Bureau of Land Management only removed the Directories for District offices and Field Offices, making it difficult, for example, to find out who was the Wild Horse & Burro Specialist, Hydrologist, Range Management Specialist or other personnel in any particular district or field office or to find an email address or telephone number for them.  BLM personnel frequently transfer to other offices and states, so it was already hard enough to try to keep up with who was where.  But now the public really doesn’t have a clue who is doing what or where.

You used to be able to go to the home pages of BLM state and district websites, and get a quick overview of not only roundup plans for wild horses & burros, but mining expansion plans, oil & gas lease sale plans, and other uses of our public lands in that area, all in one place.

Now, the BLM has divided these by topics or by “regions,” on their new website.   Under the “region” of Nevada (we call them states here in the U.S.A.), there isn’t a box for wild horses & burros (only oil and gas leasing, greater sage grouse, Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Information Access Center, Nevada Resource Advisory Councils & Federal Register Notices).

By scattering information all over this one “centralized” website, the BLM has made it much harder for the public to put together the pieces of information for a clear picture about the multiple uses of our public lands in any one area.

The Program Data page for the Wild Horse & Burro Program is HERE.  When I clicked on the box for Historical Program Data and Public Lands Statistics, I noticed something was missing that used to be available to the public.  It was the column on Adoptions by Locations & Date.  Information from the years 2009-2015 were previously available.

The biggest reason this data was important is because it let the public know the dates of adoption events (including internet adoptions), the locations of the events, the number of the wild horses and burros offered for adoption (until Fiscal Year 2014) and the number of wild horses and burros that were actually adopted at each event.

The BLM likely stopped reporting the number of horses & burros offered at adoption events in Fiscal Year 2014 because it didn’t want the public to know how many horses & burros were racking up “strikes” by not being adopted.  When a wild horse or burro isn’t adopted after 3 events and gets 3 “strikes” it can be sold without restriction (to slaughter), no matter how young it is.  Even this seemingly small reduction of data indicated a lack of transparency by this agency.

Another reason this data is important to the public is because it let the public see what areas of the country adopt the most (and the least) wild horses & burros.

While the new BLM website contains a lot of information, it seems we have lost much more information that was once available on the internet, but was not migrated to the new BLM website.  For example, the BLM News Release on its promised investigation into the deaths of wild horses at the Scott City feedlot is on the internet, but as of today, is not one of the 63 News Releases available to the public on the BLM’s new website.

We will never know how much, or what, the BLM has removed from the internet.  The BLM’s scrubbing of their trail on the internet has not only erased part of the history of this government agency, it is censorship, and it is the equivalent of a modern day book burning.

SEE EXAMPLES REFERENCED ABOVE HERE.

Baby Donkeys Rescued From Meat Trade Are Now Ambassadors for Change

by as published on One Green Planet

“Many of our donkeys have been rescued from miserable live animal markets…”

Hamish, Clover, and Darcy were tiny babies, not yet weaned, when they were taken from their mothers and sent to be sold illegally at a market in the United Kingdom. Huddled together for warmth and comfort, the little donkeys were destined for the donkey meat trade – a little known but widespread and lucrative business which operates the world over.

Thankfully, the three young donkeys, thought to be no more than ten weeks old when found, were rescued from the market by UK charity, The Flicka Foundation, which cares for and rehabilitates horses and donkeys at its sanctuary in the South West of England. The three youngsters now act as ambassadors in the organization’s fight against the trade in donkeys as food.

“Many of our donkeys have been rescued from miserable live animal markets here in the UK,” said Judy Giles, Flicka’s Director. “Sick, elderly or abandoned donkeys are bought by dealers in Europe for pennies and traveled to the UK in filthy, cramped lorries. Those that make the horrendous journey enter the UK meat markets, to be sold and cruelly shipped back to the continent for European corporate dinner plates. Thankfully, Hamish, Clover, and Darcy were rescued before it was too late, but so many millions of other donkeys are not so lucky.”

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the article.

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/baby-donkeys-rescued-from-meat-trade-are-ambassadors-for-change/

WWP Wins Ban of M-44 Wildlife ‘Cyanide Bombs’ in Idaho

News Bulletin from Western Watersheds Project

“Our delight with the statewide ban on M-44s across Idaho is tempered by several factors…”

When Canyon Mansfield and his dog were sprayed with cyanide by a Wildlife Services M-44 “coyote getter” near Pocatello three weeks ago, Western Watersheds Project convened a group of conservationists and animal welfare groups to to draw up a strategy. As part of our strategy, WWP filed an Administrative Procedures Act petition on behalf of ourselves and 19 other groups demanding that the agency to cease the use of M-44s statewide in Idaho, and remove those that were already deployed. Much to our surprise, yesterday we received a letter from Wildlife Services committing to exactly these requests.

Our delight with the statewide ban on M-44s across Idaho is tempered by several factors. The new ban doesn’t bring Canyon Mansfield’s dog back to life, nor can it take away the trauma this 14-year-old boy has experienced as a result of this wildlife-killing device. And it isn’t necessarily a permanent ban – Wildlife Services committed to informing WWP at least 30 days in advance if they ever deploy M-44s in Idaho again, but we don’t know if the reprieve for wildlife and public safety will last a month, a year, or a decade.

In writing the petition and generating the media around it, WWP was able to draw upon a wealth of knowledge assembled over decades by Predator Defense, the organization that leads efforts to ban these devices at the nationwide level. Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen and Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad spoke out strongly against M-44s in the media. The Idaho State Journal issued a blistering editorial condemning M-44s, and journalists across Idaho and throughout the country elevated the tragedy and the need to get rid of M-44s to a nationwide issue.  And the Mansfield family themselves had the strength an endurance to bring their personal tragedy into the national spotlight in hopes that what happened to their son would never happen to anyone else’s children ever again.

This is an important, if temporary, victory. But there is a long road ahead. We hope to make the Idaho ban on M-44s permanent, and to see the manufacturing facility and storage depot in Pocatello permanently closed. We are advocating to eliminate the use of the deadly toxin Compound 1080 and its poison baits that likewise kill family pets on an all-too-frequent basis. We are pursuing legal challenges to shut down killing programs of all kinds pursued by Wildlife Services, from aerial gunning to traps and snares, that target our native wildlife for eradication. And we are pressing for federal legislation to end these taxpayer-funded killing programs.

We want to be sure we recognize each one of our conservation partners who joined us in the petition that brought this victory: Predator Defense, WildEarth Guardians, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Western Wildlife Conservancy, Nevada Wildlife Alliance, Gallatin Wildlife Association, Environmental Protection Information Center, the Wolf Conservation Center, Wilderness Watch, Klamath Forest Alliance, Northeast Oregon Ecosystems, Yellowstone to Uintas Connection, Footloose Montana, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Project Coyote, Voices of Wildlife, and the Mountain Lion Foundation.

But we also want to thank, you, our members and supporters. Without your generous contributions, there would be no Western Watersheds Project to fight these battles. So give yourself a pat on the back, because today you have made a wonderful difference in the world we share with our native wildlife.

http://mailchi.mp/fad0343a19b8/wwp-wins-ban-of-cyanide-bombs-in-idaho

Dawn Vincent of The Donkey Sanctuary (UK) & Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on Wild HOrse & Burro Radio (Wed., 4/12/17)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, April 12, 2017

1:00 pm PST … 2:00 pm MST … 3:00 pm CST … 4:00 pm EST

 9 p.m. in London

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

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Workers lay the skins of freshly killed donkeys out to dry in Dong’e, northeast China, where they will later be boiled to produce gelatin sold as a fad health and beauty tonic   (Photo:  George Knowles)

Our guests tonight will be Dawn Vincent, Head of Communications for The Donkey Sanctuary (UK), and Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.  In January 2017, The Donkey Sanctuary (UK) issued a report titled “Under the Skin,” about the global demand for donkey skins used to produce a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) called ejiao.  Increasing annual global demand has been estimated to be up to four million, with some sources reporting upper limits of demand in China to be 10 million skins.

The trade in donkey skins and meat is a growing global concern in terms of animal welfare, public health and economic, social and cultural stability.  Learn what you can do to help save the donkeys.

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com, or call 320-281-0585

TO LISTEN TO ALL ARCHIVED WILD HORSE & BURRO RADIO SHOWS, CLICK HERE. Continue reading

Get real, John Ruhs

  John Ruhs, BLM Nevada State Director

                   

    Yosemite Sam, Ruhs’ doppelganger

Dadgummit!  After John Ruhs, Nevada’s BLM State Director, said that he wanted to round up 4,000 wild horses in Elko County last summer (supposedly in response to the continued lies blaming wild horses and burros for the “deterioration of drought-stricken rangeland”), we’re noting that many mines that will use billions of gallons of water are now on the verge of expanding in Nevada.

Ruhs recently spoke at the Elko Convention Center, and stated that “We are pretty proud of the fact that this last year we have worked with the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, the Nevada Department of Agriculture, the Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and NDOW to provide some public opportunities to talk about sage grouse land use amendments and what they mean to the grazing program. A lot of work still needs to be done.”

The BLM ALWAYS works with the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association.  And the National Cattlemen’s Association.  Actually, the BLM works FOR them.  Notice that the focus of talking about sage grouse land use amendments is all about what they mean to the grazing program?

Ruhs also lamented that wild horse and burro issues dominate a large part of the Nevada BLM and Ruhs went on to talk about the difficulties in wild horse management.

Wild horse and burro issues dominate?  Like, bigger than all of the mines and outnumbering all of the livestock?

And talk about difficulties?  How about all those abandoned mines in Nevada, John?

And management?  There is only wild horse and burro “MISmanagement.”

Ruhs then said “We are somewhere in excess of 37,000 horses on the rangeland that is a big priority for us and it’s one of the things that I hope in the new administration that we will see some changes that will finally allow us to get some work done on the ground.”

We hope that the work that Ruhs is referring to getting done “on the ground” will include getting an accurate count of the wild horses and burros, rescinding some livestock overgrazing permits and making sure the extractive industries don’t use every last drop of water.

Why even bother to imply that the BLM “manages” anything, except impending environmental damage from the “multiple uses” that make a buck?  Don’t stash the truth, John.

Elk Hunting Group Wants to Expand Wolf-Killing Derby into Montana: $1,000 Bounty per Wolf

“Here at SFTH and at WHFF it is obvious that our attention is upon the future well being of equines, both wild and domestic, but by no means do we cast a blind eye to other wild American species under attack.  Be it Bison, coyote, cougar or in this case the majestic wolf; we are 100% committed to the belief that Mother Nature is much better suited to manage wildlife than the bumbling, brutal and misguided efforts of man.”~ R.T.


“These wolf lottery efforts are dismantling a century-long conservation heritage that is shared not just with environmental groups but with a lot of sportsmen groups as well,”

(EnviroNews Montana) — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), which has funded wolf-killing derbies in Idaho to the tune of $150,000 since 2013, is now seeking to expand its $1,000-per-kill bounty program to the neighboring state of Montana.

Idaho Wolf and Coyote Killing Derby

RMEF provides funds to the Foundation for Wildlife Management (F4WM), which says its mission “is to promote ungulate population recovery in areas negatively impacted by wolves.” While F4WM is based in Idaho, RMEF is stationed in Montana. F4WM held a meeting on April 5 in Sandpoint, Idaho, in an attempt to drum up support for the expanded bounty program. On April 6, Justin Webb, Mission Advancement Director for F4WM, wrote on the group’s Facebook page, “We had several folks from Montana expressing interest in F4WM expanding into Montana, and all were willing to help create Montana funding!”

Webb cautioned however, that it might take some time to determine if F4WM will go ahead with the effort. “[We] should be able to announce yay or nay on an F4WM expansion into Montana within a couple weeks. We have some business operational hurdles to work through, and fine tuning the legistics [sic] of the expansion.”

“These wolf lottery efforts are dismantling a century-long conservation heritage that is shared not just with environmental groups but with a lot of sportsmen groups as well,” said Erik Molvar, Executive Director for the Western Watersheds Project, in an exclusive interview with EnviroNews.

F4WM’s sole sponsor is RMEF. The group published an open letter to President Donald Trump on its website, calling the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone and Idaho “illegal” and telling the President that this “was one extreme criminal act of fraud and theft committed under the administration of William Jefferson Clinton that truly needs to be revisited.”

In 2012, Montana elk hunter Dave Stalling wrote in an op-ed for High Country News about what he described as the RMEF’s “all-out war against wolves.” Stalling worked previously for RMEF and saw changes that he linked to the hiring of David Allen as its director. Today, Allen is President and Chief Executive Officer at RMEF. Allen has supported the delisting of wolves as an endangered species in both Wyoming and Oregon.

“This is an organization that has always been at the fringes of the conservation movement,” said Molvar. “Basically, they are really anti-conservationists in disguise.”

In Idaho, the Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), which regulates hunting in the state, is beset with a funding scandal. An op-ed authored by local hunter Dave Cappell in the January 14, 2017 Idaho State Journal, alleges that two IDFG commissioners were told their terms would not be renewed so that new commissioners, who would approve a system of auction tags for game hunters, could be appointed…(CONTINUED)

http://www.environews.tv/040717-elk-hunting-group-wants-expand-wolf-killing-derby-montana-1000-bounty-per-wolf/